Otis, Stuck Between Five and Four

“How long has it been?”

There was a rustle, and then the girl’s face and shoulders were briefly illuminated by the glow of a smartphone screen. “Three hours.” In the dark, she continued, “Still no signal.”

“I’ve only ever gotten one bar in this building, and that was in the lobby.” I give up, I can’t remember her name.  “I feel like I know you from somewhere. I mean, besides the elevator.”


“It’s your voice. There’s something familiar about—”

“You hit on me at the law firm’s Christmas party. The one on twelve? You crashed it with that guy in red glasses—”

“Pierce. Accounting.”

“—yeah, and some of us from the nonprofits on ten got invited.” She snorted. “I guess they were short on women.”

“Aren’t we all. Anyway, sorry about that.”

“Oh, you weren’t an asshole about it. I told you I was gay and you were like, ‘oh, okay, cool’. We talked politics for a minute and then Pierce dragged you off.”

“Do you always say you’re gay when random guys hit on—”

“I’m actually gay.”

“Oh, okay. Cool.”

“See? You said it again.”

“Well, it’s my go-to phrase, I guess.”

“It’s really working for you.”


The Honeymoon

“Catch me!” She ran, shoes slapping on the wet pavement, sending up fountains of water from puddles not avoided. I followed, trying to stay dry under an umbrella protesting against the wind, counting in my head my remaining dry pairs of socks, apologizing with my eyes to those sensible commuters our noisy spectacle passed on the sidewalk.

On an emptier street, she paused under an awning, pulled me close, stole a kiss. I would have lectured her, before, about catching cold; but not now, not anymore.

I followed her through the rain towards our waiting hotel and a nervous bed.